IN 1958, the Milford Haven Port Authority (MHPA) emerged as a pivotal force in the maritime history of Milford Haven.
As the port commemorates its 65th anniversary, the celebration extends beyond the mere passage of time, acknowledging the transformative role played by the MHPA in steering the port through economic shifts, industrial revolutions, and community development.
The establishment of the MHPA in 1958 was a strategic response to the growing significance of Milford Haven as a maritime hub. The authority was entrusted with the task of overseeing port operations, managing development projects, and positioning Milford Haven as a key player in the maritime industry. From the outset, the MHPA’s mandate extended beyond mere administration; it embodied a commitment to proactive planning and visionary leadership.
In the early years, as the port faced the challenges associated with the decline of the fishing industries, the MHPA became a linchpin for steering Milford Haven towards a new economic horizon. The emergence of the oil refinery industry, epitomised by the Milford Haven Refinery (later known as the Chevron Refinery), marked a turning point. The MHPA, recognizing the economic potential of this industry, worked hand-in-hand with oil companies to facilitate the expansion and modernization of refinery facilities.
The MHPA’s responsibilities encompassed the development of crucial infrastructure to support the oil industry’s activities. It played a pivotal role in creating facilities for the efficient handling, storage, and transportation of oil and related products. This collaboration not only positioned Milford Haven as a significant hub for oil processing but also solidified its role in the global energy supply chain.
The South Hook LNG Terminal, a collaborative venture involving the MHPA, added another layer to Milford Haven’s maritime prominence. The MHPA’s involvement in this project showcased its adaptability to changing energy dynamics, as the terminal became a cornerstone for liquefied natural gas operations. The authority, recognising the strategic importance of energy diversification, contributed to Milford Haven’s resilience and continued relevance in the global energy market.
Beyond its industrial endeavours, the MHPA embraced a commitment to environmental stewardship. In an era where sustainable practices are paramount, the authority likely implemented measures to minimise the ecological footprint of port activities. Balancing industrial growth with environmental responsibility, the MHPA has demonstrated its dedication to fostering a sustainable and ecologically conscious maritime environment.
The community engagement initiatives undertaken by the MHPA further highlight its multifaceted role. Beyond its economic contributions, the authority actively supports local initiatives, collaborates with stakeholders, and ensures that the benefits of port activities are shared with the community. Employment generation, infrastructure development, and community partnerships underscore the MHPA’s commitment to holistic port management.
As Milford Haven Port Authority celebrates its 65th anniversary, it does so with a legacy intertwined with dynamic industrial development, community enrichment, and environmental responsibility. The authority’s multifaceted responsibilities — overseeing port operations, fostering industrial growth, and ensuring environmental sustainability — showcase its pivotal role in steering Milford Haven towards continued success. Looking forward, the MHPA remains a beacon of maritime excellence, guiding the port through new challenges and reaffirming its commitment to industry, community, and environmental stewardship.
Celebration event marks 65 years of progress
OVER 200 guests, including the First Minister, the Welsh Secretary, and the Chair of the Welsh Select Committee, came together at a gala dinner to mark the 65th anniversary of the creation of the Port of Milford Haven, earlier this month.
Representatives from the Port’s broad stakeholder base including clients, business and community partners, and current and future generations, attended the celebration which provided a moment to pause and reflect but also, importantly, to look forward.
During the evening, a short film was launched which captures the organisation’s rich history, alongside a glimpse into the promising future that lies ahead, rooted in the evolution of the nationally critical assets along the Milford Haven Waterway and green industries – Watch the Celebration video here
Milford Haven is a major trust port, the largest port in Wales and the third biggest port in the UK. It plays a critical strategic role in supplying the country with fuel, gas and electricity, with major multi-million investments underway to create a green future. The Port also plays a fundamental role in attracting tourists to Pembrokeshire, while promoting enduring partnerships with many youth, community and environmental groups.
An impressive line-up of speakers set out a clear vision for the Waterway, for Pembrokeshire, and for the region as Wales embraces the opportunities created by a Net Zero future.
“From humble beginnings, the Port has been on a remarkable journey,” reflected Tom Sawyer, CEO of Port of Milford Haven, while expressing his gratitude to all those who have contributed to the journey at the special evening.
He added: “As we embark on the next leg of our journey, the gala dinner was an opportunity to pause, reflect and look to the future. Over the past 65 years, we’ve gone from a bustling naval dockyard and fishing port, to become the country’s premier energy port. With our local and global partners, the future is bright: rooted in cleaner fuels, cleaner energy and innovation, with the Haven Waterway acting as green centre for excellence. The century ahead promises a bright future for the generations ahead, based upon fulfilling employment and a just transition to a cleaner future.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “As the UK’s leading energy port, Milford Haven waterway’s contribution to Wales’s economy, and the UK’s energy security, cannot be overstated. Milford Haven Port has been the foundation for so much of the region’s economic prosperity, with thousands of local people providing the skills to support our natural gas and petrochemical industries. Congratulations to everyone involved on the anniversary and I look forward to many more decades of the Port’s contribution to Wales.”
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: “I was delighted to attend this celebration of 65 years of the success for the Port of Milford Haven. It’s now the foremost energy port in the UK – a remarkable achievement. And it was great to hear about the bright future for the Port as it continues to develop. I had the opportunity to set out the UK Government’s ambition for developing floating offshore wind the in Celtic sea, and the investments that we are making to support that vision. Of course the Port of Milford Haven will have a vital role to play in that future and I’d like to thank them for their continued hard work and investment in Wales.”
Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, said: “The Port is not just a part of Milford Haven; it is the beating heart of Milford Haven. It provides an identity and character to the town that is very special indeed. But it’s also a source of jobs and prosperity for the whole County of Pembrokeshire. So it is right that we celebrate this important milestone, while also looking ahead to the new opportunities that green energy will bring to the Haven. With the world once again facing a period of enormous economic and industrial change, the Port of Milford Haven is well placed to capture a new generation of investment and opportunities that will benefit local people.”